By Lt. j.g. Alanna Strei, Naval Surface Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
- Twenty-eight ensigns were recognized Friday for completing the San Diego Surface Warfare Officers (SWOS) Indoctrination course at a graduation ceremony held at Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) headquarters.
The four-week course is affectionately called "Baby SWOS". Focused on improving warfighting readiness through interactive lectures, simulator training, and exposure to senior leadership, Baby SWOS is designed to empower new surface warfare officers (SWOs) by providing them with the basic knowledge and skills to make an immediate impact on the ships to which they are assigned.
Students dive into practical, hands-on training to learn about damage control, engineering, navigation, seamanship, shiphandling, and maritime warfare during the first four weeks; a fifth and final week is focused on leadership development.
"Feedback shows that students particularly took to the 'on the job' training," said Lt. Diane Mayhugh, Director of SWOS Indoctrination, Afloat Training Group Pacific. "It is great to have their training experience conclude at SURFPAC, the same place SWOS students graduated from 30 years ago."
The ceremony was hosted by Vice Admiral D.C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Keynote remarks were provided by Rear Adm. Timothy Rowden, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7.
"You are the future of the United States Navy," Rear Adm. Rowden told the graduating class. "I ask you to choose, every day, to be good at what you do, and to help your people to be the best they can be. This course has given you the tools to do that."
Notable moments included a presentation by Vice Adm. (Ret.) John Nyquist, President of the San Diego Surface Naval Association, to class honor graduate, Ens. Jennifer Malherek.
"I am honored to be selected as the SWOS Indoc honor graduate," said Ens. Malherek. "I am excited to go back and apply what I've learned to my job as a Division Officer onboard USS Howard."
Malherek was awarded a binocular set and plaque in acknowledgment of her academic achievement and professionalism.
SWOS Indoctrination is offered in San Diego, Norfolk, Mayport, Everett, Pearl Harbor, and Yokosuka and has graduated more than 800 students since it began in 2008.